Sometime between when we were children and when we had children of our own, parenting lost it’s mind. Modern parenting is a mad business and is one big heap of information overload. Parenting has become a job and you damned well better be qualified – or else. Or else what? We don’t know, but we are not about to find out!
So we grind our teeth and try to improve at this job which lacks a proper job description, has no salary and no career prospects whatsoever. There is also no exit plan or annual leave… you just carry on and hope you are not ruining your child’s’ life.
Parents today are faced with a million different
crazy passionate arguments for why we’re completely screwing up our kids by not adhering to whatever child-rearing methodology is currently the hottest trend or ranks the highest on Google Search.
My daughter will be turning 5-years old in January, and I already feel like the advice for pregnant women has shifted all over the place multiple times since then.
Pregnancy truly seems like one big scary game of Russian Roulette (where whatever food/activity/medicine/household toxin you expose yourself to next leads directly to pediatric cancer or childhood deformity). Sounds bad? Well, that’s nothing compared to how you can screw up your kids once they’re outside your womb.
Did you co-sleep, or let them cry it out? Did you breastfeed or bottle feed? Did you use disposable nappies or cloth? What baby products did you use? Did you Vaccinate or let nature take it’s course? Are you raising little banters or gluten-free warriors? Did you practice instinctive parenting, attachment parenting, helicopter parenting, authoritative parenting, permissive parenting or conscious parenting?
Either way you are screwing up in the eyes of society and are almost certainly raising a sociopath. Let’s hope he’s the handsome, humble, convincingly charming type like Dexter.
“Raising children is a fear-based industry. It’s INSANITY! So I haven’t READ anything, I’ll let her do her OWN thing” – Emily Blunt (Net-a-porter Interview)
Assuming you manage to not cause too much permanent damage, physically or psychologically, during the baby and toddler years – you are bound to drop the ball once they’re older. You thought standing in the baby food aisle contemplating the branded choices before you was bad enough… (wait, what? you BOUGHT baby food?) wait until your kid comes home one day crying about being bullied at school and you have to decide whether to tell him to take the high road or kick that little jerk right in the stomach.
Bath your kids every day and make them wash those dirty little hands – it is the only way to prevent disease! No wait! They need to get dirty exposure to all allergens and bacteria, it lowers the risk of autoimmune disorders! Do you let them play outside? Good mom! Free play nurtures creativity and research shows that too much screen time can impact social interaction and blah blah blah.
Not only do we have to worry about racism, xenophobia, hijackings and gun violence – but thanks to the news, talk shows, parenting magazines, and even mom blogs – we are always hearing of products and foods that we should and should NOT give our kids.
Recalls on foods, toys and baby gear are always being sent to me via email and Facebook links. It is a good thing in today’s world that we are now learning of better ways to protect our children. But sometimes, it can just be too much… I mean, we survived?
Apparently apple juice is bad for your kids because it has arsenic in it, but I grew up drinking apple juice and I let my daughter drink apple juice – so now, knowing what I know… do I let my second child drink apple juice? Do I let my toddler continue? Is it even true? Who the hell knows? We even have to question what milk our kids should be drinking – if they should be drinking milk at all.
My mom made me drink a glass of milk every night at dinner. Now, we’re told that the growth hormones in milk aren’t good for kids, so I have to spend a fortune on organic milk. These are silly little examples, but sjoe… my brain!
Most people will tell you to not read too much into every little thing, but it is so hard. Especially for new moms – how do you not try to take every single precaution? How do you separate facts from fiction?
The bottom line is, as a parent, no matter what you decide to do — seriously, hear me on this: no matter what you decide to do — someone somewhere is going to be convinced you’re doing it wrong.
Just keep doing the best you can, the best you know how. Love your baby and love yourself. By doing that you are already doing a great job!
How do you deal with the over-saturation of advice and information on parenting?